1. Pay employees and contractors fairly
2. Ensure employees have the ability to work flexibly
3. Provide bespoke support to lower income and vulnerable employees
1. Enable employees to volunteer during work time with schools and local charities
2. Share food, goods and equipment with community organisations that are on the ground working with those who are disadvantaged
3. Provide funding and in-kind support that is easy to access
1. Pay suppliers on time
2. Encourage your supply chain to reduce its carbon footprint
3. Continually seek to use energy and resources efficiently
The cost-of-living is the spending by households on goods and services to help them fulfil their everyday lives. If the price of goods, especially of essentials, increases at a faster rate than incomes, this squeezes household budgets and puts pressure on households already on lower incomes.
We are currently facing the worst cost-of-living crisis for half a century, with homeowners contending with soaring energy and food costs, and businesses tackling the spiralling price of overheads.
The cost-of-living crisis is projected to push thousands of individuals and families over the poverty line.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) suggests 330,000 people in Northern Ireland live in poverty – almost one-in-five, but the poverty rate is highest among children, with almost one in four (24%) living in poverty.
JRF also highlights that:
- nearly 4 in 10 single-parent families are in poverty
- while these rates are generally lower than elsewhere in the UK, Northern Ireland still significantly lags other parts of the UK as regards earnings and employment rates.
- more people either have to rely on social security for their income, putting them at very high risk of poverty, and/or the income they are able to secure through work is lower than it would be elsewhere in the UK.
- as we face a 30-year inflation high, £1 in every £5 from low-income family budgets could go on energy costs this year.
The cost-of-living crisis will continue to plunge more households into poverty. With that comes the likely increase in health, social and economic issues.
We need a strong business response across all sectors and geographic regions to help create communities that enable people to live, work, survive, and thrive.
Some things companies are doing:
- Percentage wage increases
- Increased profit share
- Emergency funds
- Crisis loan funds
- Guaranteed shift patterns
- Less travel to the office
- Strengthening sick pay benefits
- Increasing or adding wellbeing benefits
- Greater flexibility
- Childcare and transport vouchers